There is one question I get asked a lot when I’m out covering events, and it’s not what you suspect for a government reporter.
It’s not “What’s going on with the fire chief search?” or “What’s up with that policy?” No, not at all. While I do get asked those questions on occasion, there is one question I get asked far more often.
Whether it’s community members or elected officials, they all want to know one thing.
“Where are you going on your next trip?”
That question always gets followed up with a compliment about how the person likes reading about my trips, but it comes with a caveat. You see, that puts a lot of pressure on me to come up with a good answer. Since I’m not going to make up a fake answer, that means there is a lot of pressure to come up with a good location.
Do I pick someplace exotic, like Barcelona, or do I pick someplace closer to home? Someplace closer to home could be local such as — well there aren’t too many places left to go in the U.S., I’ve already been to every state that is entirely east of the Mississippi River except Wisconsin.
Maybe I could go to Seattle or Portland, but I dunno. I plan on taking a good trip or two in 2014, but I don’t know what it’ll be yet. The Society of Professional Journalists is slated to hold its annual conference in early September at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, so I know I’ll go up there for that.
Beyond that, however, I’m not sure yet.
I can’t go to the same place twice, unless there is something special about the second trip. One example is when I went to London last year. I’d already been there in 2009 and I wrote about it back then. Fortunately, the difference about my trip in 2012 was that it was during the Olympics, so it had that added aspect.
I have no intention of visiting Sochi, Russia, in a couple of months by the way. I’m sure the Black Sea is perfectly wonderful — and I hear they may have to truck in the snow for the Olympics — but I’d rather not risk it in early February.
I keep putting off that trip I want to take to Amsterdam and Brussels, but make no mistake, I do plan on taking it. It may not be in 2014, but I will take it at some point.
That’s the trip I am focusing my sights on. At this point, I’m planning on going out that way in 2015. The thing is I’m set on going at a particular time of year, and that is when they hold the annual flower parade and flower shows.
There’s a whole list of places I want to visit including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, Athens, San Marino, Venice, Milan, Pisa, Zurich, Marseille, Barcelona, Madrid, Pamplona and Bunol.
I’m determined to participate in the Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina before I get too old to do either.
But regardless of where I go next, I know it’s got to be someplace big. Everyone is apparently expecting it.